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1 Local Warehouse Children's Young Adult- General

Evil Genius

by

Evil Genius Cover

 

 

Excerpt

One

Cadel Piggott was just seven years old when he first met Thaddeus Roth.

Dr. Roth worked in a row house near Sydney Harbor. The house was three stories high, its garden shrouded by a great many damp, dark trees. There was moss growing on its sandstone window ledges. Curtains drawn across all its windows gave it a secretive air. Its front fence was made of iron, with a spike on top of each post; beside the creaking gate was a brass sign bearing Dr. Rothand#8217;s name and qualifications.

and#8220;Thatand#8217;s it,and#8221; said Mrs. Piggott. and#8220;Number twenty-nine.and#8221;

and#8220;Well, we canand#8217;t stop here,and#8221; her husband replied. and#8220;No parking.and#8221;

and#8220;I told you to park back there.and#8221;

and#8220;It doesnand#8217;t matter. Weand#8217;ll try down this street.and#8221;

and#8220;Stuart, thatand#8217;s a one-way street.and#8221;

and#8220;Dammit!and#8221;

and#8220;I knew weand#8217;d never find a space. Not around this area.and#8221;

and#8220;Just shut up for a minute, will you?and#8221;

Mr. and Mrs. Piggott were not Cadeland#8217;s real parents. They had adopted him when he was not quite two years old. Mrs. Piggott was thin and blond, Mr. Piggott fat and gray. They almost never agreed about anything, but that didnand#8217;t matter because they almost never met. Their busy schedules kept them away from home, and one another, a good deal of the time.

At the suggestion of the police, however, they had both agreed to attend this interview.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re going to be late,and#8221; Mrs. Piggott warned her husband after they had circled the block four times in Mr. Piggottand#8217;s big, gleaming Mercedes Benz. and#8220;Just let us out, for godand#8217;s sake.and#8221;

and#8220;Iand#8217;ll park here.and#8221;

and#8220;Stuart, youand#8217;ll never fit in there!and#8221;

and#8220;Watch me.and#8221;

Cadel said nothing. He sat on the backseat, dressed in his good brown cords and a lamband#8217;s-wool sweater, staring out the window at Dr. Rothand#8217;s house. He didnand#8217;t like the look of it. He thought it had a murky, ominous appearance.

and#8220;I donand#8217;t want to go,and#8221; he said flatly when Mrs. Piggott got out and opened the door beside him.

and#8220;I know, honey, but we have to.and#8221;

and#8220;No we donand#8217;t,and#8221; Cadel retorted.

and#8220;Yes we do.and#8221;

and#8220;There were no formal charges,and#8221; Cadel pointed out, in his high, clear voice. and#8220;It was just a suggestion.and#8221;

and#8220;Thatand#8217;s right,and#8221; said Mr. Piggott, yanking Cadel out of the back of the car. and#8220;And when the police make a suggestion, you always follow it. Rule number one.and#8221;

and#8220;Be careful, Stuart, youand#8217;ll wreck his clothes.and#8221;

Cadel was so smalland#8212;even for a seven-year-oldand#8212;that he didnand#8217;t stand a chance against Mr. Piggott. Though he dragged his feet and hung off his adoptive parentsand#8217; hands like a sack of melons, he was forced across the street and through the front gate of number twenty-nine. The path beyond the gate was mushy with wet leaves. There was a rich smell of decay. The door knocker was a ring in the mouth of a snarling lionand#8217;s head, painted black, like the rest of the ironwork.

Cadel noted with interest the switchboard near the door. It was obviously ancient, full of porcelain fuses and dial meters. The Piggottsand#8217; own house was only three years old, with a state-of-the-art electrical system, so Cadel was fascinated by this dusty old relic.

But he was not permitted to gaze at it for long.

and#8220;Come on,and#8221; Mr. Piggott barked. and#8220;The doorand#8217;s open.and#8221; And he pushed against it, causing it to swing back and reveal a long, dark hallway carpeted with dingy Persian rugs. About halfway down this hallway, a staircase the color of walnut swept up to the next floor. There were several doors to the right of the front entrance, but only the closest stood ajar.

and#8220;Hello!and#8221; said Mr. Piggott, marching straight through it. He wasnand#8217;t a man who normally waited for anything. and#8220;Weand#8217;ve an appointment with Dr. Roth. For ten thirty.and#8221;

Gripped firmly around the wrist, Cadel had no choice but to follow Mr. Piggott. He found himself in a reception area: two rooms divided by a pair of folding mahogany doors. There were two marble fireplaces and two chandeliers. Cadel noticed cobwebs on the chandeliers.

A woman sat behind an antique desk.

and#8220;Good morning,and#8221; she said calmly. and#8220;What name, please?and#8221;

and#8220;Piggott,and#8221; Mr. Piggott replied, in pompous tones. and#8220;Stuart, Lanna, and Cadel.and#8221; He looked surprised when the woman rose, revealing herself to be almost as wide and as tall as he was. She had a broad, square face and small blue eyes. She was wearing a suit the color of dried blood.

and#8220;Iand#8217;ll just go and tell Dr. Roth that youand#8217;ve arrived,and#8221; she declared, before lumbering out of the room. Cadel didnand#8217;t watch her go. He was more interested in the computer that sheand#8217;d left behind, with its alluring glow and contented hum. The screen saver was one that heand#8217;d never seen before: a pattern of falling dominoes.

and#8220;Donand#8217;t even think about it,and#8221; Stuart rasped when he realized what was attracting Cadeland#8217;s attention. and#8220;Sit down. Over there.and#8221;

and#8220;Look, honey, there are toys for you to play with,and#8221; Lanna said, nudging a large basket with the toe of her expensive Italian shoe. Sulkily, Cadel eyed the basketand#8217;s contents. He was used to the broken activity centers and torn books offered for the amusement of younger patients at his local doctorand#8217;s office and wasnand#8217;t hopeful about the distractions provided here.

But to his astonishment, he quickly spied an old voltmeter, together with a book on flies, a plastic human skull (life-sized), a Rubikand#8217;s Cube, and a Frankenstein mask. Further investigation uncovered a dead spider embedded in a resin paperweight, a sharkand#8217;s tooth, a Galaxy Warrior complete with Thermopuncher torpedoes, and a very curious fragment of puzzle bearing the picture of a staring, bloodshot eye over a set of claw marks.

He was puzzling over this macabre image when the sound of heavy footsteps reached his ears. It seemed that Dr. Rothand#8217;s receptionist was returning, clumping down the stairs like someone wearing ski boots. Lanna, who had flung herself onto an armchair, immediately jumped to her feet.

Stuart glared at the door.

and#8220;Dr. Roth will see you now,and#8221; the receptionist announced when she finally appeared. and#8220;You can go straight up.and#8221;

Stuart and Lanna exchanged glances.

and#8220;Are you sure?and#8221; Lanna objected. and#8220;I mean, does he want to discuss things in front of Cadel?and#8221;

and#8220;Oh yes,and#8221; the receptionist declared firmly. Something about her voice made Cadel look up. He studied her with care, from the top of her permed head to the soles of her brown shoes. She smiled in response, and the Piggotts all recoiled.

Her mouth looked as if it belonged to an older, harsher century.

and#8220;Why are your teeth black?and#8221; Cadel wanted to know.

and#8220;Why are your teeth white?and#8221; the receptionist responded, wending her way back to her desk. Lanna snatched at Cadeland#8217;s hand and hustled him out of the room. She and her husband whispered together as they climbed the stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath them.

and#8220;Stuart, what was the matter with . . . ?and#8221;

and#8220;I donand#8217;t know.and#8221;

and#8220;Do you think this is a good idea?and#8221;

and#8220;Course it is.and#8221;

and#8220;But what about that woman? Her teeth?and#8221;

Stuart shrugged. They had reached a landing, but it wasnand#8217;t the right one. From above their heads, a voice said, and#8220;Up here.and#8221;

A man was draped over the second-floor banisters. He was tall and thin and wore a tweed jacket. His thick, dark hair was going gray.

and#8220;Thatand#8217;s the bathroom,and#8221; he remarked in a soothing voice with a cultured English accent. and#8220;Iand#8217;m afraid my office is at the top, here.and#8221;

and#8220;Dr. Roth?and#8221; said Stuart.

and#8220;Yes, indeed.and#8221;

and#8220;Weand#8217;re a bit late,and#8221; Lanna offered a trifle breathlessly. and#8220;No parking.and#8221;

and#8220;You should turn that front yard of yours into a parking lot,and#8221; Stuart added, climbing the last flight of stairs. Gracefully, Dr. Roth moved to push open the door of his office.

and#8220;I would,and#8221; he said, and#8220;if the local council would let me. Heritage listing, Iand#8217;m afraid.and#8221;

Stuart grunted. Lanna smiled a meaningless social smile. They both passed into Dr. Rothand#8217;s office ahead of Cadel, who stopped on the threshold. He gazed up at Thaddeus.

and#8220;Why does she have black teeth?and#8221; Cadel inquired.

and#8220;Wilfreda? Iand#8217;m not sure,and#8221; Thaddeus replied. and#8220;Poor dental hygiene, I should think. Her parents had very strange ideas about diet and doctors. Maybe they didnand#8217;t believe in toothbrushes, either.and#8221; He cocked his head. and#8220;So youand#8217;re Cadel.and#8221;

and#8220;Yes.and#8221;

and#8220;Come in, Cadel.and#8221;

Dr. Rothand#8217;s office surprised Cadel, because it was full of modern furniture and computer equipment. There were a number of glossy cabinets, some full of filing drawers, some with cables running out of them. Cadeland#8217;s eyes gleamed when he spotted those cables.

and#8220;Sit down, please.and#8221; Dr. Roth gestured at a cluster of couches placed between his desk and a pair of French doors. Lanna chose the crimson couch, settling down onto it very carefully, her bare knees drawn together. Stuart dropped into his seat like a stone.

and#8220;We brought this referral . . .and#8221; said his wife, passing an envelope to Dr. Roth. Thaddeus opened it, removed a folded sheet of paper, and smoothed the paper flat without taking his eyes off Cadel, whose attention was fixed on a modem attached to an inline filter.

and#8220;The police suggested we arrange some counseling for Cadel,and#8221; Stuart explained. and#8220;They also suggested that he shouldnand#8217;t be allowed to use a computer except under supervision. Responsible supervision.and#8221;

and#8220;Heand#8217;s far too young to understand,and#8221; added Lanna, smoothing down her short skirt. and#8220;His emotional maturity hasnand#8217;t caught up with his intellect.and#8221;

and#8220;He has a genius IQ,and#8221; said her husband gruffly. and#8220;We had him tested.and#8221;

and#8220;Itand#8217;s not his fault. We would have said something if weand#8217;d known what he was up to.and#8221;

and#8220;Heand#8217;s not a bad kid.and#8221;

Thaddeus raised an eyebrow. By this time he was glancing through the referral, nodding to himself. When he had finished, he refolded the paper and tucked it into his jacket pocket. and#8220;Right,and#8221; he said, then cleared his throat. and#8220;Cadel? Would you like to use my computer?and#8221;

Cadel whirled around. Stuart and Lanna both gasped.

and#8220;But he canand#8217;t!and#8221; Stuart spluttered.

and#8220;Heand#8217;s not allowed!and#8221; Lanna cried.

and#8220;Oh, I think heand#8217;ll be all right,and#8221; said Dr. Roth. and#8220;Iand#8217;ll be interested to see if he does make a nuisance of himself. Thereand#8217;s some very tough security software installed on that computer.and#8221; He smiled indulgently at Cadel. and#8220;Knock yourself out, kid.and#8221;

While Cadel scuttled over to the desk, his adoptive parents looked at each other in dismay. Dr. Roth sank into the couch opposite them, his long, bony hands pressed together under his beaky nose. and#8220;So,and#8221; he began, and#8220;Cadel has been hacking into high-security computer networks, is that it?and#8221;

and#8220;The power grid,and#8221; Stuart interrupted. and#8220;And a bill-paying service.and#8221;

and#8220;He likes the challenge,and#8221; said Lanna, sounding worried. and#8220;Iand#8217;m sure thatand#8217;s it. Heand#8217;s bored at school.and#8221;

and#8220;He knows he shouldnand#8217;t have,and#8221; Stuart growled, and#8220;but I donand#8217;t think heand#8217;s awareand#8212;and#8221;

and#8220;That itand#8217;s against the law,and#8221; his wife interjected, at which point Stuart turned on her.

and#8220;I was going to say that heand#8217;s probably not aware of the full implications, if youand#8217;d let me get a word in edgewise,and#8221; he snapped. and#8220;Itand#8217;s not against the lawand#8212;not when youand#8217;re seven years old. Thatand#8217;s the whole point. You canand#8217;t charge a kid of his age.and#8221;

and#8220;But the police thought that measures ought to be taken in any case,and#8221; Dr. Roth remarked smoothly. and#8220;I understand. And may I ask whether youand#8217;ve discussed these matters with the school he attends? Whatand#8217;s it called?and#8221;

and#8220;Elphington Grammar,and#8221; Lanna supplied. and#8220;We live on the North Shore, you see.and#8221;

and#8220;Theyand#8217;ve expelled him,and#8221; Stuart said flatly. and#8220;Donand#8217;t want him there. Too much like hard work, designing special programs for a genius.and#8221;

and#8220;So weand#8217;ve enrolled him in Jamboree Gardens. They believe in small classes, and they nurture potential on an individual basis.and#8221;

and#8220;Itand#8217;s one of those tree-hugger schools,and#8221; Stuart concluded, without much enthusiasm.

Again Thaddeus nodded. In the brief silence that followed, the click-clack of a hardworking computer keyboard filled the room. Cadel sat perched on Dr. Rothand#8217;s chair, his small feet dangling, his gaze fixed.

and#8220;Can you tell me anything else about your son that might be useful?and#8221; Thaddeus said at last, and Lanna leaned forward.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re not his birth parents,and#8221; she revealed in a low voice. and#8220;If that matters. He knows, of course.and#8221;

and#8220;This wouldnand#8217;t have happened if his nanny hadnand#8217;t left.and#8221; Stuart sighed. and#8220;No supervision.and#8221;

and#8220;Why did his nanny leave?and#8221; Dr. Roth queried, whereupon Stuart rubbed the back of his neck in obvious discomfort.

This time Lannaand#8217;s voice was so low that it was barely a whisper.

and#8220;He used to charge things to her credit card. She used it so much that of course he picked up on it.and#8221;

and#8220;Heand#8217;s a funny kid,and#8221; Stuart admitted. and#8220;Heand#8217;s not normal.and#8221;

and#8220;Stuart!and#8221;

and#8220;Well, heand#8217;s not. You canand#8217;t pretend he is.and#8221;

and#8220;Shhh!and#8221;

But Cadel didnand#8217;t seem to be listening. He was peering at the computer screen, his lips pursed, his brow furrowed.

and#8220;You know what he said to me the other day?and#8221; Stuart continued. and#8220;Lanna and I had been arguingand#8212;and#8221;

and#8220;We donand#8217;t often argue,and#8221; his wife broke in, smiling nervously at Thaddeus. and#8220;Youand#8217;re giving Dr. Roth the wrong idea, honey.and#8221;

Stuart snorted. and#8220;Yeah, well, whatever you say. Anyhow, he looked me straight in the eye, and he said, and#8216;Youand#8217;re like a malfunctioning modem with her. You need to locate the right initialization string.and#8217;and#8221; Stuart blinked. and#8220;Can you believe that?and#8221;

His wife tittered. and#8220;Oh dear,and#8221; she said. and#8220;That is so Cadel.and#8221;

and#8220;He carries the strangest things around with him,and#8221; Stuart went on. and#8220;Not yo-yos or rubber frogs or stuff like that. He carries circuit boards and thermostats and ignition coils. God knows where he gets them.and#8221;

and#8220;Out of my computer.and#8221; Lanna grimaced, her face falling suddenly. and#8220;Thatand#8217;s where he gets them. Or he dismantles the security system.and#8221;

and#8220;We have a circuitry room,and#8221; Stuart confessed. and#8220;It controls the security system and the phone system and the air conditioningand#8212;and#8221;

and#8220;We can never get him out of there.and#8221;

and#8220;Half the time, when you turn on the television, the garage door opens.and#8221;

and#8220;Whatever kind of lock you put on that damned circuitry room, he always cracks it sooner or later.and#8221;

and#8220;Like you said, Lanna, he canand#8217;t resist a challenge.and#8221;

All three adults turned their heads to study Cadel, who ignored them. He looked just like a little angel, with his huge blue eyes, chestnut curls, and heart-shaped face.

and#8220;We were wondering if he was a bit autisticand#8221;and#8212;Lanna sighedand#8212;and#8220;but heand#8217;s not. We checked it out. Heand#8217;s just not very interested in people.and#8221;

and#8220;Especially other kids,and#8221; said Stuart. and#8220;Well, what other kids anywhere near his age are going to be interested in information protocol settings?and#8221;

and#8220;Quite,and#8221; said Thaddeus. and#8220;And what do you hope to gain from having Cadel visit me here, Mr. and Mrs. Piggott?and#8221;

and#8220;Well . . .and#8221; Lanna cast a hopeless glance at her husband, who shrugged.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re just doing what weand#8217;re told,and#8221; he mumbled. and#8220;So this whole business wonand#8217;t happen again.and#8221;

and#8220;Perhaps you can teach Cadel some social skills?and#8221; Lanna proposed brightly. and#8220;Help him to understand that he canand#8217;t do whatever he wants just because heand#8217;s smarter than everyone else?and#8221;

and#8220;Because he thinks heand#8217;s smarter than everyone else,and#8221; Stuart amended. And he narrowed his eyes, his jaw muscles working.

Thaddeus surveyed him thoughtfully.

and#8220;Ye-e-es,and#8221; said Thaddeus. and#8220;I see.and#8221; All at once he surged to his feet, taking Mr. and Mrs. Piggott by surprise. and#8220;Well, thank you very much for that input,and#8221; he remarked pleasantly. and#8220;Youand#8217;ve been most helpful. Iand#8217;ll keep it in mind when I talk to your sonand#8212;it might be interesting to have some more tests done, but Iand#8217;ll discuss that with you later. Could you give me, say, twenty minutes? Twenty minutes alone with Cadel? It should be enough for today.and#8221;

and#8220;You mean now?and#8221; said Stuart.

and#8220;If thatand#8217;s all right with you.and#8221;

and#8220;Well, I . . . I guess so.and#8221;

and#8220;If itand#8217;s all right with Cadel,and#8221; said Lanna. and#8220;Cadel? Honey? Do you mind if we step outside for a few minutes? Dr. Roth wants to talk to you.and#8221;

There was no reply. Cadel didnand#8217;t appear to have registered the fact that Lanna was addressing him.

and#8220;He wonand#8217;t even notice weand#8217;re gone,and#8221; her husband muttered. and#8220;You watch.and#8221;

and#8220;Weand#8217;ll be right downstairs, honey. We wonand#8217;t be far.and#8221;

and#8220;Youand#8217;d think he was deaf,and#8221; Stuart complained. As he nudged his wife from the room, she threw Dr. Roth a toothy smile.

and#8220;Heand#8217;s not deaf, actually,and#8221; she assured the psychologist. and#8220;Weand#8217;ve had tests done . . .and#8221;

Bang! The door slammed shut. Thaddeus waited until he could no longer hear the tramp of feet on stairs before strolling over to where Cadel sat in the typistand#8217;s chair. Cadel ignored him. Suddenly, Thaddeus yanked at the chair, making it spin around until it was pointing toward him. Then he grabbed each armrest and leaned into Cadeland#8217;s face.

Cadeland#8217;s hands jumped up in a startled reflex.

and#8220;Iand#8217;ll make a deal with you, Cadel,and#8221; said Thaddeus. and#8220;Can you keep a secret?and#8221;

Solemnly, Cadel nodded.

and#8220;Good. Then this is what weand#8217;ll do. If you donand#8217;t tell your parents about it, Iand#8217;ll let you use my computer whenever you come here. Does that sound good?and#8221;

Again, Cadel nodded.

and#8220;And all I ask in return is this.and#8221; The corner of Thaddeusand#8217;s mouth rose, revealing one yellowish, pointed canine tooth. Through the lenses of his spectacles, his eyes were as black as a snakeand#8217;s. His voice dropped to a throaty whisper. and#8220;Next time,and#8221; he murmured, and#8220;whatever you do, donand#8217;t get caught.and#8221;

Product Details

ISBN:
9780152059880
Author:
Jinks, Catherine
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Author:
Ungar, Richard
Author:
King, Wesley
Subject:
Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
Subject:
Schools
Subject:
Good and evil
Subject:
Mysteries & Detective Stories
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Identity
Subject:
Identity (psychology)
Subject:
Children s Middle Readers-General
Subject:
Sci-Fi; history; time travel; future
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080401
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
8.25 x 6 in 1.46 lb
Age Level:
12-17

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

Evil Genius Used Hardcover
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Product details 496 pages Harcourt Children's Books - English 9780152059880 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With a series of breakneck twists and turns, Jinks's (the Pagan Chronicles) latest novel follows Cadel Piggott, a seven-year-old Australian boy with an incredible mind and a proclivity toward mischief: 'He loved systems: phone systems, electrical systems, car engines, complicated traffic intersections.' Following a string of disasters, which Cadel engineers (e.g., hacking into the city's power grid), his desperate adoptive parents take him to a psychologist, Dr. Thaddeus Roth. But instead of refocusing Cadel on more positive activities, Dr. Roth encourages the boy to develop increasingly destructive plans, such as orchestrating massive traffic jams and manipulating his classmates' emotions so that they turn on one another. Dr. Roth also stuns Cadel by revealing that he is employed by Cadel's birth father, Dr. Phineas Darkkon, a criminal mastermind serving a life sentence. From prison, Dr. Darkkon established the Axis Institute for the world's genetically talented and criminally inclined. Drs. Roth and Darkkon convince Cadel to join its small freshman class, and Cadel slowly uncovers a conspiracy of lies and betrayals that leave no aspect of his life untouched. Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel's life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'With a series of breakneck twists and turns, Jinks's (the Pagan Chronicles) latest novel follows Cadel Piggott, a seven-year-old Australian boy with an incredible mind and a proclivity toward mischief: 'He loved systems: phone systems, electrical systems, car engines, complicated traffic intersections.' Following a string of disasters, which Cadel engineers (e.g., hacking into the city's power grid), his desperate adoptive parents take him to a psychologist, Dr. Thaddeus Roth. But instead of refocusing Cadel on more positive activities, Dr. Roth encourages the boy to develop increasingly destructive plans, such as orchestrating massive traffic jams and manipulating his classmates' emotions so that they turn on one another. Dr. Roth also stuns Cadel by revealing that he is employed by Cadel's birth father, Dr. Phineas Darkkon, a criminal mastermind serving a life sentence. From prison, Dr. Darkkon established the Axis Institute for the world's genetically talented and criminally inclined. Drs. Roth and Darkkon convince Cadel to join its small freshman class, and Cadel slowly uncovers a conspiracy of lies and betrayals that leave no aspect of his life untouched. Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel's life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers. Ages 12-up. (May)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Review" by , "This book will appeal to younger teens who can see the possibilities for adventure through the eyes of the bad guys."
"Review" by , "[T]he dark humor and freakish characters (the student whose stench is so awful he has to wear a spaceman-like suit; the beautiful, devious, mind-reading twins) may grab fantasy readers with a cynical bent who are looking for something out of the ordinary."
"Synopsis" by , An entertaining romp through sinister evil.
"Synopsis" by ,
The high-octane sequel to Time Snatchers.

Caleb thought he'd escaped Uncle's clutches and could have a normal life in 1968, but no such luck. After being forcibly returned to Timeless Treasures and his old job of stealing valuable objects from the past, he learns that things have gotten even more sinister. Training the new kidnapped recruits doesn't seem very important to Frank, Uncle's evil lackey, even though a few of these kids have amazing theiving skills and genius for new technology. But then Caleb figures out it's because Frank doesn't plan on keeping them around very long - or keeping them alive.

Stakes are high for all of the time snatchers. If only Caleb can convince the new ones to stop having fun with the technology and use it to save their own lives.

"Synopsis" by ,
After using your newfound super powers to defeat the most evil villains on the planet, what could you possibly do for an encore?
 
James, Hayden, Sam, Emily and Lana are finally ready to join the League of Heroes. Their new powers have made them stronger than ever (Hayden has perfected some particularly useful tricks for doing housework from the sofa), and the friends even gave themselves a name: the Feros. But as their induction into the League approaches, they are ambushed and arrested by a group of rogue Heroes. The only one who can clear their name is the Leagues leader, Thunderbolt—but hes gone missing. The Feros manage to escape capture, but with Thunderbolt gone and several League members defecting, there is no one left to trust.

Confident they can overcome anything together, the groups security is shaken when Emily is mysteriously abducted right out from under them. Have the Vindico somehow managed to escape the impenetrable Perch? Or are they fighting a new enemy that they cant see? One thing they know for sure is that even Sams telepathic detection has proven useless against this unknown foe. Without their computer genius or their telepathic shield, how will the Feros ever find Emily and keep themselves—and their families—safe?

Wesley King follows up his darkly funny debut, The Vindico, with this high-octane sequel, delivering even more humor and explosive superpowered action.

 

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